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The December Full moon: The cold moon

The December Full moon: The cold moon

December's Full Moon is known as the Cold Moon because it is the first of the winter season. This occurs when Earth is located between the Sun and the Moon.

It is also known as the Long Night Moon since it falls shortly after the winter solstice, which is marked by shorter daylight.

Full moon names often correspond to seasonal markers, so a Harvest Moon occurs at the end of the growing season, in September or October.

And the Cold Moon occurs in frosty December. At least, that's how it works in the Northern Hemisphere.

Why is it called the Cold Moon?

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, referring to the December full moon as the Cold Moon comes from the Mohawks, conveying the time of the year when the cold weather really starts to set in at the start of winter.

What what is unique about the Cold Moon is its trajectory high across the sky, which results in the moon being visible all night long.

Europeans called this the Moon after Yule, a 3-day winter solstice festival in pre-christian Europe. In the 10th Century King Haakon I associated Yule with Christmas as part of the Christianization of Norway.

And this association has spread throughout the countries that follow European traditions. Another English name for this Moon is the Old Moon.

Others refer to December's Full Moon as the Wolf Moon as wolves are known to howl in the middle of the night during the cold season.

Wolf Moon, so named by the Algonquin tribes in the northern and eastern part of the country, the Ice Moon and the Long Night Moon, due to its juxtaposition with the winter solstice, according to NASA.

Characteristics A full moon

Is often thought of as an event of a full night's duration. This is somewhat misleading because its phase seen from Earth continuously waxes or wanes (though much too slowly to notice in real time with the naked eye).

By definition, its maximum illumination occurs at the moment waxing stops. For any given location, about half of these maximum full moons may be visible, while the other half occurs during the day, when the full moon is below the horizon.

So that why most of the time, the full moon isn't perfectly full. We always see the same side of the moon, but part of it is in shadow.

Only when the moon, Earth and the sun are perfectly aligned is the moon 100% full, and that alignment produces a lunar eclipse.

The Moon takes approximately 27 days to complete an orbit around the Earth. During that time, the Moon embarks on eight different phases.

At the beginning of its cycle, the Moon is on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, with its dark side facing our planet. As a result, it is almost invisible to us.

Then, a small sliver of the Moon’s crescent gradually appears in our skies as it waxes to become a Full Moon at the peak of its cycle.

After that, it begins to wane into invisibility once more, before beginning anew, 29 and a half days after the preceding New Moon.

Each of these phases is marked by changes in the Moon's visibility, brightness and how it appears in size.

A Full Moon takes place when the Earth is wedged between the Sun and the Moon at exactly opposite ends with the side of the Moon facing the Earth becoming fully illuminated by the Sun’s beaming light.

This month's Full Moon also happens to be a penumbral lunar eclipse, where the Earth cast its shadow on the Moon.

This type of lunar eclipse is not as obvious as a regular lunar eclipse, as only the outer shadow of our planet falls on the Moon, appearing as a slight shading on the lunar surface.

Why are full moons such a spiritually intense experience?

Astrology says there is proof that full moons contain a certain electricity of their own, and the December 2020 full moon ends the year on a high voltage note.

It evokes a sense of revelation, culmination, and possibly even reward. It creates change, closes chapters, and produces climactic moments in your life.

The sun is forced to shine some of its light upon the truth that the moon has been holding onto, revealing something about yourself and your world that might just change everything.

Everyone experiences each full moon differently and some might have a stronger effect on you than others. Since this upcoming full moon takes place in cardinal sign Cancer.

It will leave the most profound impact on those born under the influence of cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) within the degrees of 3 and 13.

Luckily, there's no reason to overanalyze and worry, because this full moon is beautiful for several different reasons.


Full moons are traditionally associated with insomnia (inability to sleep), insanity (hence the terms lunacy and lunatic) and various "magical phenomena" such as lycanthropy.

However, Psychologists, have found that there is no strong evidence for effects on human behavior around the time of a full moon.

They find that studies are generally not consistent, with some showing a positive effect and others showing a negative effect.

In one instance, the 23 December 2000 issue of the British Medical Journal published two studies on dog bite admission to hospitals in England and Australia.

The study of the Bradford Royal Infirmary found that dog bites were twice as common during a full moon, whereas the study conducted by the public hospitals in Australia found that they were less likely.

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